Today Justin's mom would have celebrated her 60th birthday.
Justin wanted to throw her a big birthday party to mark the occasion. Apparently her 40th birthday celebration didn't go so well, but her reaching 60 with all her medical challenges would have been a great accomplishment. On the other hand, perhaps she would have been depressed over the 60 that she wasn't--not retiring or near retiring from an engineering career, not planning great travels or exploring yummy restaurants, not moving to Arizona and living in their desert property and doing whatever it is people do in the desert somewhere between Vegas and Lake Havasu.
Not excitedly awaiting her son's Match Day to discover where his next portion of the emergency medicine adventure would take us. Not preparing to celebrate his extraordinary graduation from Medical School.
I suppose she could have done those last two, on the days that she understood it. On the lucid days.
Maybe she woudl have liked the party. Maybe she would have resented it. Maybe she would have been happy to see her friends or maybe they would have continued their awkward distance, afraid of their own mortality and uncomfortable with what she had become, preferring to pretend she had disappeared and allowing themselves to blindly hold on to the memories of what she had been with them so many years ago.
I want to resent them for that behavior and their absence that pained her--especially her parents, but for the friends I think I pity them in a different way than I pitied Toni and pity her family.
No one knows how to deal with these situations, no one is well equipped, no one is trained--at least not until afterward and for the next one. But still, each person has their own desires and expectations in these matters.
I thought I'd take Justin to a nice dinner tonight to celebrate Toni's birthday in memoriam, but today the Padre's play in what might be their final chance to make it to the playoffs or the actual last part of the baseball season. So, in good form, we will go to a sports bar instead "my mom appreciated a good beer" and love each other and the memory of her. Me and my favorite gift from Toni--my Justin who loves, cherishes and cares for me. My Justin who makes it so that I can wake up to a Crockpot cooking lamb stew and a house that is clean and stocked with everything that he doesn't want to run out of. Justin who does the dishes and checks on the cars and makes sure we get home safely from where ever we go. Justin, the simply nice guy, to whom I married well.